Begin the Year with Menu Diversity with a Conveyor Oven

As we begin to see where the foodservice industry and restaurants are headed in the New Year, it’s clear some of the changes we saw in 2020 will continue into the future. A quick survey of 2021 foodservice trend articles shows off-premise dining will remain popular, and for savvy operators, this means there’s room for impact.

From Forbes to Food + Wine, experts all agree that the take-out and delivery experience will be more important than ever, but this does not mean consumer preferences for menu variety will change. Yes, many restaurants might be closed to in-person dining, but diners will still crave diversity. Restaurants equipped with the right ovens and equipment that allow for menu variety will be better positioned, especially when those ovens can also help during times when bringing in extra labor is also a challenge.

“In 2021, it will evolve as chefs are creating new and interesting ways to bring the restaurant experience to life at home for guests,” says Rick Billings, executive chef of José Andrés ThinkFoodGroup, in a recent Food + Wine article. “At our restaurants, paella became one of the most popular items on our to-go menu. The paella pan fit perfectly into a pizza box, while keeping the rice hot, so you had this element of presentation you’d get in the restaurant.”

Paella is a great example of a restaurant looking to expand on in-home dining options. Can you ever think of a time when you ordered to-go paella? Yet, it’s happening now from some of the country’s most renown chefs. This means the equipment restaurants and foodservice operators use on a day-to-day basis are going to be required to create menu items on a page-by-page basis.

Cooking on Conveyors Is Cool mm ctx automation

An easy way to provide menu diversity while implementing automation in the kitchen is to consider conveyor units like the Middleby Marshall CTX Oven. The winner of a 2017 Kitchen Innovations Award from the National Restaurant Association, the CTX can provide automated cooking processes including grilling, baking, broiling, searing, steaming, and even sous vide cooking within a single footprint.

The CTX from Middleby Marshall goes beyond simple menu diversification, though. It’s also a great resource for labor savings and for faster production, which can increase profit margins.

Conveyor cooking is as close to fully-automated cooking as one can achieve in a commercial kitchen. This means a diverse range of menu items can be produced consistently with less staffing, something of great concern to restaurants and operators facing shortages and restrictions created by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Cooking in the Middleby Marshall CTX Oven is also faster. With pinpoint accuracy, staff can experience cooking times that are half the times required with other, traditional cooking methods. And conveyor ovens are for much more than pizza. With the CTX, even fine dining operations can offer speedy takeout and delivery for items such as steak, lobster, tacos, and yes, even paella.


Learn more about the Middleby Marshall CTX Oven. Request a quote today.

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Topics: Product of the Month, Takeout & Delivery